"If it bleeds it leads" is a phrase often heard inside today's 24/7 news cycle culture. The phrase is used to illustrate the type of stories that grab attention and influence "viewers" to stay tuned, after the commercial break, for more information. Before you get all defensive about your ability to deny media influence, let me ask a question, "Do you slow down, not for safety but strange interest reasons, when passing a wreck on the road?"
"See?!" We all feel the leading of the bleeding influence.
It is easy to understand why TV and cable providers would want to use stories that keep attention on their product--money. Even so, such headline stories have the ability to create false or exaggerated perceptions of people, places and things.
And...such is...in my opinion...culture's false and exaggerated perception of teenagers.
If you listen to several of the bleeding and leading headlines concerning today's teen culture, you may avoid and/or not talk to a teenager for fear they will pull out a weapon, steal your money and/or offer you an illegal substance. I am talking about adult reactions to strange teenagers in our churches.
Let me assure you! There are weapon carrying, money stealing, illegal substance offering teenagers out there. There are also weapon carrying, money stealing, illegal substance offering adults out there (which is most likely the reason we have the teen problems)!
So...how about a great, inspirational, the community got it right story of a teenager? A story that I propose is more common than reported.
BTW: This video was shared by a public school administrator.